The Good, the Bad and the Whiney (Not in that Order)
Friday, July 20, 2012
OK, seriously, it's the middle of July and I still have to wear a jacket to go out! Now, don't get me wrong, I love the rain. And I love cloudy days, and for the most part, I'm no good when it's hot, but enough is enough! I also love variety and (let's face it), I want to wear my summer clothes. And I'm bored of having to take my running indoors (not so much because of the rain, but the wind that makes it rain sideways). Sure, I compensate by pressing the random settings on the treadmill so I get a bit of a hill here and there, but I miss running by the sea, and what's the point of having long, long days if the light is monochrome gray and you never, ever get to see the 10 pm sunset?
OK, enough of the whining! There are some NSV to report on the gym bunny front.
I pushed back a week on the interval program for running the 5K because I had a couple of off days with my stomach, and I decided that I'd start with intervals I'd already done, rather than jumping straight into the next ones. Truthfully, the intervals were the same, 4-1, but 35 minutes instead of 40. So this week, I'm on 40 minutes. It was tough going the first few days, mostly because my stomach had barely recovered, but I pushed through, and I'm running almost 6.5 k in 40 minutes, even with walking intervals. One minute has become enough to recover from the run, even after the last intervals. Running the 5 k in less than 30 minutes is starting to look doable!
Now, the days I don't run, I'm still riding high on the cardio setting of the elliptical cross trainer. That's where the running really shows. I'm still doing 45 minutes, letting the machine pile on the resistance to raise my HR. And it's really having to pile it on, which means it takes a hell of a lot more effort to raise my HR. Yesterday, the screen jumped to 2 bars (of 6, each of which is about 10 levels of resistance) at around .8 k (so minute 4 or lightly sooner) and stayed, and stayed, and stayed. And it no longer makes me feel like I'm dragging my 85 kilo husband around. But it gets better. It jumped to 3 bars! For the first time ever! I had never seen 3 bars! Like ever. And it stayed on 3 bars for, oh, 3 minutes or so, during which I felt like I was dragging my husband and his even taller brother behind me. But I did it!
All in all, I was on or above two stripes for 4.5 k, so half the workout. And when the stripes finally fell off, I still had the energy to put some speed into the last 20 minutes. Now, I have to credit the ST as much as the running. It's one thing to have more endurance, which I definitely do, but it wasn't until I got serious about strength training that the two bars stopped feeling like an impossible struggle. Well, now 3 bars feel like that, but hey, within another month, I bet I'll be flying through that resistance too!
Now for the bad. I love running. I seriously love it. But I think I may have to scale down on the running after the 5 k challenge. Basically, my knees are starting to let me know that the considerable wear and tear I caused with the sprinting and long jumping and rock climbing and acrobatics and stilts basketball and football (yes, I played football, and not just flag football) is not going away.
Don't get me wrong. I knew this. And I knew it was irreversible. Hell, I knew I was looking at surgery, probably before I turned 40 (4 doctors agreed), with a couple of surgeons trying to sell me on why I should just go ahead and repair the knees at 25, before I damaged the bones (I didn't because I figured there would be advances in the 15 years I had left, possibly less invasive options, etc). Well, I got my wake up call. I turn 35 soon. And that's quite close to 40. It's actually the 10 years a couple of those doctors thought I wouldn't make it.
It's gone from a slight soreness at the end of the run to pain from the first minute, which then lessens as the endorphins kick in. And it's gotten to a point where my knees ache in the morning, and I have to reposition them at night, in bed, because even then they don't feel quite night. So it's bad, I know it's bad. But turns out, I'm still the stubborn 19 yo who ran the 400 hurdles final in the nationals on a broken ligament. I just can't not go through with the challenge. The though t of giving up makes me furious at myself.
So for now, I'm running 3 times a week for 2 more weeks, putting in at least 6 k on each run. New knee braces (the ones I have aren't rigid enough and only help slightly (besides, they slip down my leg mid-run). After that, we'll see, but I'm thinking of two days a week, tops. Possibly, a bit less time, as well, and I'll shop around the gym for some other cardio activity to replace it. And doctor's appointment (definitely not going before so I can be told not to run, which I kind of know would happen). Sometime, I seem to be my own worse enemy in the strangest of ways.